The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 08. Visual stimuli and spontaneous locomotor patterns of common lizards, Lacerta vivipara


Open Access


Authors: G. Cowlishaw And R. A. Avery

Abstract: The movement pattern of adult male Lacerta vivipara travelling spontaneously along a wooden-walled channel was similar to the previously measured pattern of animals moving across an open space, comprising an alternation of short (-1 s) bursts of locomotion with even shorter (-0.1 s) pauses. Changing the structure and appearance of the walls of the channel altered the locomotor pattern. Grass turf separated from the lizards by glass h ad the greatest effect, causing a decrease in mean burst speed and an increase in mean pause duration. This persisted for 25 trials, suggesting that the response to the visual stimulus presented by turf was investigatory and not merely due to its novelty, whereas the smaller effect seen when the walls were of white card waned with time and so may have been primarily a response to change.

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